Looking for Reason

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so. – Ronald Reagan

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On The Loss of Civility in the Online World

When I began this blog my stated goal was to give a “reasoned” opinion on the topics of the day, in an effort to counter the vulgarity, bias, and ineptitude I see so much of. In my debut post I said in regard to those perceived short comings online… “I intend to take a higher road, I believe that name calling and the shrill whaling from (primarily) the left, is a sign that they don’t truly have an intelligent argument so they must try to deflect the conversation away from the point.” Perhaps I’ve been reading too much of that sort of crap lately, but I’m ashamed to say that a few of my posts have been below the standard I set for myself when I started this.

In reflecting on this realization, I began asking myself why this happened, and why civility seems to be dying online. The fact of the matter is, anonymity breeds contempt and dishonesty. Look at the comments posted under just about any YouTube video, and you will find a wide variety of profane and vulgar comments that would never be used in polite, face to face conversation. While I considered many of them to be simply sophomoric teenagers, to my chagrin, I have found that many of these posters are in their 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s.

Such things as spelling, grammar and composition are sorely lacking in many of these posted comments. When someone makes a comment that goes against the general consensus or even just another posters views, they are met with profanity, put downs and/or name-calling. Name-calling is at its core just another form of bullying, it is sophomoric and typically employed by those who lack the intellectual capability to make a point based on reason or fact. They don’t like someone or something so they belittle it in an effort to make themselves look or feel better. When these folks can’t get their way, or someone disagrees with them, they become belligerent and try to force their way on others, like a bully pushes smaller kids around. After all, they’re protected by the anonymity offered by the Internet, who’s going to hurt them back.

At first I blamed the trend solely on liberals, but I have come to realize that they do not have a corner on that market. For example a recent (currently on going) thread on YouTube has a conservative in his 50s engaged in a war of words with a liberal, who is 37 years old. The conservative uses poor grammar and even worse spelling, while spewing a seemingly endless string of names,  and put-downs. His somewhat better spoken opponent, does likewise and repeats them over and over ad nauseum. The guy needs a thicker play-book, but both men need to grow up! Had I not looked at their biographies, I would have thought these were a couple of 13-year-old kids. It reminded me of a quote by Mark Twain, “Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, and bystanders will not be able to tell the difference.”

I suppose there’s nothing that can be done to improve the etiquette of those engaged in online discussions, especially while they are protected by the anonymity the forum provides. As for myself, I will continue to try leading by example, refraining from using such tactics and remaining cognizant in these posts to strive to maintain that higher road. If I falter in my attempts, I would welcome a reminder in the comments section below the post that my aggravation is obviously getting the better of me.




So what?

As Americans we are repulsed by the thought of eating dogs, cats or even horses, but it is common place in other cultures. Hindu’s worship cows and likely find it repugnant that we eat them as a matter of course. When I was a teenager (before it was outlawed) I was given horse meat once, though unlike Obama I have no recollection of how it tasted or its toughness. The only memory I have is the surprise I felt when told what I had just eaten, and thinking it wasn’t bad.

Now someone has made an issue out of  the fact that in chapter two of his book Dreams from My Father  Obama says “I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).”  Big deal!

My point is anyone who’s read my blog up till now knows that I have lost any respect I may have ever had for Barack Obama. I have also said that my point of writing this blog was to try to shed some reason on the topics of the day. So I have to ask, is this all the media and bloggers have to worry about these days? I have no desire to defend anything Obama has, is or will do, but there are mountains of issues to work with that are far more important than Obama eating dog meat as a kid. Let’s move on to some of those shall we?


“It’s your money or your life,”

How many times have you heard those, or similar, words in some Hollywood movie or TV show, while watching the bad guy point a gun or knife at an innocent victim? Well, Libertarian’s believe that for the Federal Government to tax us for anything that is not provided for in the Constitution is armed robbery. “What?” you may ask, how can you call paying taxes armed robbery?

Let me explain, the Constitution describes the basics of our republic, as well as the functions and limited powers thereof. While one of the delineated powers of congress is to “lay and collect taxes”, those are only authorized to pay for the duties and functions described therein. So now we have this bloated Federal Bureaucracy that far exceeds its limited powers, and collects more in taxes than King George demanded which resulted in the war for independence.

You’re probably still wondering though, how I can claim that any of this is armed robbery, right? Okay, stop paying your taxes, and see what happens? Men with guns will come looking for you, to take that which you didn’t voluntarily hand over. So we now have men with guns, coming to take more than they are constitutionally authorized to take from you. Sure sounds like armed robbery to me.

So why am I bringing all of this up? Well, I’ve long known that the Democrats are guilty of a couple of thing that never seem to change, first is an insatiable thirst for our hard-earned money, and second an unshakeable belief in global warming. Recently Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) combined both into a single statement when he said in a press conference It’s your money or your life, We are either going to dedicate ourselves to a cleaner, more livable planet and accept the initial investment necessary or we’re going to pay a heavier price in terms of loss of human life, damage and costs associated with it.” [emphasis added] (see the video here)

His comments were in regard to the fact that since 2006, 97 Illinois counties have experienced weather related emergencies, and hybrid cars and your money are the obvious answer. This man is an idiot; could he really believe that driving a hybrid is going to stop tornadoes and summer heat waves? Despite what the Democrats and environmentalists would have you believe, there is no scientific proof, let me repeat that… no, nada, none, zero, zilch – scientific evidence that man is having any noticeable effect on the climate.  

Every scientific study put forth by the climate change alarmists has been falsified. Every single one, yet they continue to spew forth the same old worn out arguments and disproved theories as evidence of their silly hypothesis. Next time you hear Al Gore, or one of his ilk tell you that the science is proven, laugh, because any real scientist knows that’s a joke. Almost nothing in science can be proven, the only exceptions are what are known as “Physical Laws of Nature” i.e. the law of gravity, the laws of motion, or the laws of thermodynamics. These are considered by science as “Laws” because they are pretty much set in concrete.

Everything else is a theory or hypothesis, and if even a single experiment disproves it, then it’s thrown out in search of another one to explain the observed phenomena. As I said above, there has not been a single theory set forth to try to “prove” manmade global warming that has stood this test. There is one unalterable truth about it however, and that is that it has nothing to do with the climate, but rather more government control over our lives.

I’m going to leave you with two quotes from Albert Einstein that I admire. First in reference to what I explained above about trying to prove anything scientifically, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; however a single experiment can prove me wrong.” And my personal favorite, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.


The Unwavering Hypocrisy of the Left

I can’t begin to count the number of times someone from the right has made some comment or other and folks on the left begin screaming how offensive the comment was and if it’s someone with a TV or radio show, then they scream to have that person, sometimes successfully, removed from the air for their “offensive” comments. Yet those on the left do far worse with regularity and impunity.

 A recent example was the repugnant comments made by Rush Limbaugh about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University Law Student who became a national celebrity for her testimony in support of taxpayer subsidized contraception before a group of House Democrats, at the request of Nancy Pelosi. This special opportunity came after Fluke was turned away from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings, on several grounds including that “she lacked expertise in questions of religious freedoms under federal law”. Although Limbaugh later apologized to Ms. Fluke, she rejected the apology.

 After Limbaugh’s comments, the liberals went berserk, and called Limbaugh “disgusting”, “loathsome”, “despicable”, “a national disgrace” on and on add nauseum. Some even questioned the need for such comments “within political discourse”. While I agree that name calling and belittling comments show a decided lack of intellectual maturity. It is the left that is most often guilty of this behaviour, yet rarely does such uproar occur when practiced by liberals.

 Those on the right, especially women and minorities on the right are frequent targets of the likes of Ed Schultz, David Letterman, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, and an endless stream of other leftist Hollywood celebrities and comedians. In May 2011 Schultz was suspended from his show for a week for referring to Republican talk show host Laura Ingraham as a “Right Wing Slut”. There was little news media interest and no nationwide call for advertisers to drop sponsorship of the show. Ingraham later commented on the fact that when the episode was discussed on “The View” Barbara Walters just laughed it off with the comment “Joy Behar on this program has called me a slut”. However after the Limbaugh-Fluke incident it was “Oh, isn’t this a tragedy” and “isn’t this horrible” and “Rush Limbaugh should be driven off the air.”  What a difference!

 There was no backlash at all when in June 2009, David Letterman commented One awkward moment though during the game. Maybe you heard about it, maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels, one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the 7th inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” Or when he referred to Palin as “a slutty flight attendant”.  One of the slimiest journalists, and I use that term loosely, that I can think of is Keith Olbermann, who said that conservative commentator S.E Cupp should have been “aborted” by her parents, and described conservative journalist Michelle Malkin (a conservative Asian American woman) as a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.”  Malkin has said she is used to the slurs from the left and doesn’t pay them much attention anymore. Like most conservatives, she just considers the source.

 Perhaps the most vitriolic of them all though, is the misogynistic Bill Maher, the list of disgusting remarks this man has made is almost too long to list, but a short one would include his calling Sarah Palin such words as c*nt, tw*t, and of course slut. Maher hasn’t limited his slurs to just Mrs. Palin though, he has also attacked her daughters and even her young son, who was born with Downs Syndrome. Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has been his target as well, once referring to both Palin and Bachman as “Boobs”. For Mr. Maher there has, like Letterman, been no real backlash, no condemnation from the left; even the liberal woman at NOW have barely uttered a peep about his vulgar attacks on conservative women. I guess only liberal woman warrant their defense.

 I must admit to a complete feeling of shock when I read that Bill Maher, correctly stated in a NY Times opinion piece, on Mar 21st 2012… “When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like” more or less pointing out the hypocrisy between the left’s misogyny and that of Rush Limbaugh. I have often said the same thing when people feign offense to one thing or another. You do not have a right to never be offended! People say and do stupid things every day, and thank God we live in a country where we still have that freedom. If you don’t like what you hear turn the station, if you don’t like what you see change the channel. Don’t threaten advertisers with a boycott, vote with your viewing and listening habits.

 Talk shows like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, etc. stay on the air because they get ratings. Air America, the liberals radio answer to Rush Limbaugh’s #1 ratings, lasted only 6 years before going bankrupt from lack of ratings. Why? Could it be that despite the shrill cries from the left, people like what they hear on the conservative talk shows, and they didn’t like what they got from Air America? When they couldn’t win in the arena of public opinion, they attempted to get the FCC and congress to reinstate the “Fairness Doctrine” which would have forced stations with conservative talk shows to give equal time to liberal shows, thankfully it was never reintroduced. There was nothing fair about the “Fairness Doctrine”, it would have forced broadcasters to devote precious air time to unprofitable programming, solely because of bureaucratic meddling. This is yet another example of the liberal hypocrisy, where “if we can’t win on our merits, then we’ll silence you with rules and regulations”. So much for the “Fairness” they are always preaching about, Huh?


Taking the plunge

I’ve read blogs for years, even taken to posting responses to the blogs of newsletters that I read regularly, but never before had I thought to start one of my own. Not that is until venting recently to my best friend about some issue that was getting my goat that day and said “I should run for office”. I’d actually made that comment before and gotten responses like “You’re too smart for that”, to which I replied “Maybe that’s what they need in the other Washington, some brains!” But the exchange made me think that I could use this venue to try to bring some semblance of reason to the issues of the day, and give me a chance to vent now and again.

So much of what passes as intelligent opinion these days is just mindless drivel. It seems to me that the populace at large simply follows the talking heads in the MSM without any critical thought about what is being fed to them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made a comment about something going on, only to be asked “Why haven’t I heard about that on the news?” My only response is that the MSM filters what they feed the masses, if it doesn’t fit their agenda, then they either ridicule it, or ignore it.

A perfect example was the recent news conference announcing the results of a 6 month “Cold case posse” investigation of the validity of the long form birth certificate (LFBC) presented last April by the White House as proof that Obama is a citizen. Despite showing videos of their testing, explaining the whys and wherefores of the investigation, and that they had “Probable cause” to believe that the LFBC was a forgery and that a fraud had been perpetrated on the people of Maricopa county, the State of Arizona, and the U.S. at large. Not one of the reporters present at the news conference asked a single question related to the evidence presented. Instead they attacked the Sheriff, the lead investigator and even tried to put words into their mouths. Is this how journalists are supposed to act? No wonder so many are turning to other sources for the news.

I will most likely write a full article on this subject soon, but I give this brief synopsis here as an illustration of why I believe the MSM is completely biased and isn’t to be trusted with the fair and truthful reporting of the news. Even the much reviled Fox news, by the left anyway, I find suspect these days. The forcing out of Glen Beck, and the cancellation of Judge Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch are just two examples of the silencing of those media voices who are critical of the path this country is taking.

So as an outlet for my frequent frustration with the leadership of this country, the news media, and who knows what else, I’ve decided to write this blog to voice what I think is wrong with all of those things and my reasoned explanation of why. Unlike those on both the left and right who sink to name calling to try to make a point. I intend to take a higher road, I believe that name calling and the shrill whaling from (primarily) the left, is a sign that they don’t truly have an intelligent argument so they must try to deflect the conversation away from the point.

I hope you’ll read my posts from time to time and agree or disagree let me know what you think of the subject at hand, I only ask that you too take a high road and refrain from profanity and name calling in your replies. If you can’t keep it civil, then keep it to yourself.